Whole Foods may have a loyal following, but the company may have to change to overcome recent declines in sales. The store prides themselves off of their massive organic food selection, make your own peanut butter, extensive hot food section, and products geared towards living a healthy lifestyle. But, are their products too expensive for many to afford? 

It's no secret that Whole Foods prices are above average. There have been several articles, similar to this one, that have been written on how to shop at Whole Foods on a budget. I know many people who shop at Whole Foods religiously, and sometimes even refuse to go to the other big grocery stores. However, despite these loyal costumers, Whole Foods just announced their sixth straight quarter of declining sales

With the average income of American citizens declining, and competition from other companies and online food services, will Whole Foods be able to alter their strategies in order to boost sales? Here are some of the things that the company is trying to do to raise sales.

Say Goodbye to 9 Whole Foods Locations

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Bailey Grace Elkin

For the first time since the 2008 recession, Whole Foods is closing the doors to some of their locations. At the end of April, nine Whole Foods locations closed down. While this is a small number compared to the grocery chain's 400+ stores, it shows that there is growing competition in the area of organic and natural foods.

For a list of all of the stores that will no longer be open, click here

A Cheaper Alternative

Kristin Lane

Whole Foods has planned to open new stores, 365 by Whole Foods, that are aimed for consumers who are on a tighter budget, aka us college students.

The current stores have proved successful for those not wanting to spend their entire paychecks on groceries, but due to recent sales declines, the company is opening only 3 instead of the planned 10 that they wanted to this year. So, if you are waiting to see a 365 location pop up near you I wouldn't hold your breath.

Lower Prices

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Anna Arteaga

Whole Foods has tried to lure in customers that feel they can't afford to shop organically by creating coupons and discounts that can found online. They have also announced a rewards program that will begin sometime in 2017. The company has also realized their competition, such as Trader Joe's, and have decided to lower prices later this year.

To those of you that are worried that this will lessen the amount of food options at the stores, do not be concerned, they vow to keep their healthy image and extensive options available. 

More Prepared Foods

Naib Mian

Whole Foods has expanded the amount of prepared, hot food they offer in many of their stores. In New York, they have even opened a resturant inside of the store, otherwise known as the new trend emerging, 'the grocerant.'

Many people love Whole Foods for their large prepared foods bar and selection of pastries, and more recently, the addition of a mochi ice cream bar. It may just benefit the company to bring in even more options to keep people coming back.

Will Whole Foods be able to get out of their slump and see increased profits in this quarter? With all of the methods that they are implementing, and their loyal following, one can only hope that the store will see an increase in business.

Only time can tell what the future holds for the organic grocery chain. In the meantime, I can only go stock up on every Halo Top flavor, pick up their to-die-for mac and cheese, and keep my fingers crossed.